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Published On: Mon, Nov 12th, 2012

Madeira dengue outbreak skyrockets past 500 confirmed cases

In a follow-up to a story Nov. 1, the British Health Protection Agency (HPA) reports the dengue outbreak on the island of Madeira has grown substantially since it’s beginning approximately two months ago, according to an HPA press release Thursday.  

mosquito

Photo/CDC-James Gathany

According to the HPA, the Portuguese Ministry of Public Health has reported 1,148 cases of dengue infection, 517 of which have been laboratory confirmed. During the outbreak, 57 people have been hospitalized for observation but there have been no deaths or severe cases of dengue fever.

While the majority of the cases are from the Madeira local population, some cases have been seen in tourists from the UK (6), France and Germany have two cases each and Sweden one case.

Dr Dipti Patel, joint director of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC), said: “There is no specific preventive medicine or vaccination against dengue fever and prevention relies on avoiding mosquito bites particularly around dusk and dawn when the day biting mosquitoes are most active.

“To minimize the risk of being bitten, it is advisable to wear appropriate clothing to cover up – such as long sleeve tops and trousers, and to use insect repellents.”

The World Health Organization has estimated that 2.5 billion people are at risk of acquiring dengue fever and that approximately 50 million infections occur each year. It occurs in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world affecting approximately 100 countries in Africa, South and Central America, Asia, eastern Mediterranean, and western Pacific.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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